Country music legend Merle Haggard died today on his 79th birthday.
According to The Political Insider, Haggard passed on at his California home after a long illness that forced him to cancel a series of tour dates in March.
Haggard teamed up with fellow legend Buck Owens to form his band The Strangers, which created the “Bakersfield sound.” This form of music is characterized by the unique twang of the Fender Telecaster and the mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound. It also incorporates new vocal harmony styles in which there are few words, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville recordings of the same era.
Haggard aligned himself with the growing outlaw country movement, and he continued to release successful records through the 1990s and 2000s.
He will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, Merle!